Not a Difficult Choice for Pharma Chemie

by George White

Pharma Chemie President and CEO Mark Pieloch has had no trouble recruiting employees to move from its current headquarters in Nebraska to its new operation in Melbourne. Their 35,000 sq. ft. facility will enable the pet supplement and flavoring manufacturer “to increase its workforce by 40 employees over the next three years,” he said.

“We relocated all of our pet flavor production to Melbourne. Right now we have two employees we hired from the area and four came from Nebraska. We’ve also hired a 10-person sales force,” said Pieloch, who maintains a home in Nebraska near the company headquarters, but has purchased a home on Melbourne Beach.

Factors in the Move

The company was awarded a State of Florida Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund (QTI) to assist in offsetting the cost of relocation, employee training and infrastructure. The Brevard County Board of County Commissioners awarded the local match for the QTI program through an Ad Valorem Tax Abatement. Also assisting in the recruitment effort was the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC) and the City of Melbourne.

“The decision to move the operation was based on four factors,” said Pieloch. “It was the favorable tax environment, no snow and warm weather, located close to the Atlantic Ocean, and the quality of the workforce.” The initial projection for the Melbourne operation includes 14 employees during 2012, 27-28 employees in 2013 and 40 in 2014. “We’ve already met the projection for 2012 and, if everything goes as it’s going now, I see us reaching that final goal on time,” Pieloch added.

No Brainer

“All employees who have made the move [to the Space Coast] have been thrilled with the area, he said. “We’re pleased to be here and the people we’ve worked with have all been excellent. This is a great place to live, for the climate and it has great schools, both public and private. In Nebraska, there are a few months that you’re snowed in and can’t do anything. The nice thing about Florida is you can get off work and go fishing or whatever you want to do.”

The relocation of the company here “is further evidence of the competitiveness of the Space Coast’s manufacturing sector,” concluded Lynda Weatherman, president and CEO of the EDC. “We look forward to the company’s growth and success in the county.”